Fa'amele.

Bachelor of Arts.

What inspired you to study psychology?

I really enjoy studying people's behaviour. I actually started out in teaching. Through that I became interested in child development, so I moved into psychology. Eventually I'm planning to go into psychotherapy.

Your background is Tongan-Samoan… how’s the Pasifika scene at UC?

It’s great. The Pacific Development Team does a really good job in supporting us and bringing us together. There are lots of resources available and they work hard to make it a good environment for Pasifika students.

You've also been involved in a supporting role?

Last year I mentored a first-year Pasifika student. We met up every month and I texted her every week to see how she was going. She had come here from the Cook Islands so it was a big adjustment for her. It was nice helping someone who was just starting out.

Best thing about being a mentor?

It's really good being able to show people the resources available, especially for those who haven’t felt comfortable asking for help. As a mentor I also got to meet a lot of other Pasifika students. Now I bump into them around campus. We help each other out and it’s a nice sense of connection.

"It's really good being able to show people the resources available, especially for those who haven’t felt comfortable asking for help."

Lecturers – fierce or friendly?

Friendly! In first year I was a bit scared of them but now I interact with them a lot. Our lecturers are constantly saying, “We're here to help you and support you”. When you approach them, you realise they really do mean it. They want us to pass and do well.

What impact will UC have on your future?

It's going to make a big difference to my future. I'll be the first one of my siblings to graduate. I had been working after high school but I’m really glad I came to uni. You can achieve so much more when you have a degree.

If you could give one piece of advice, it would be…

Come! UC is a great place. There’s lots of support especially for Pasifika and Māori students.